Bielsa-esque Pierluigi Collina defends referees and Fifa’s new rules | Suzanne Wrack
Chair of Fifa’s refereeing committee gives energetic presentation in Paris following controversial incidents
In the midst of a refereeing and VAR storm Pierluigi Collina was calm. A media briefing on refereeing mid-tournament is not a new occurrence. At the 2018 World Cup a similar conference was called. Except then it was easier. It was about success. The much-maligned VAR was, overall, working.
This time the attention is on the game’s rules and the implementation of those rules in a way few would have expected before a ball was kicked at the Women’s World Cup. But Collina, the chairman of Fifa’s refereeing committee, was on a mission. In a Marcelo Bielsa-esque session at the Parc des Princes, Collina talked through controversial rule by controversial rule with the aids of PowerPoint and video. Leaping up to test a member of the press on whether a photo on his phone showed a ball on the line – “No,” the bemused reporter replied – Collina swept across to bring a different angle into view and had his “ta‑da” magician moment.